Small state, big problems: Rhode Island hits the skids

Rhode Island may be the smallest U.S. state, but it's in big economic trouble. At 10.3 percent, its unemployment rate is the second-highest in the country, trailing only embattled Michigan. It is at the epicenter of a nationwide surge in mortgage fraud. And, new research shows, its companies are increasingly seeing the businesses they sell to falling behind on payments.

On average, more than 16 percent of money owed to Ocean State businesses from sales to corporate customers is past due, according to Cortera, a consulting firm that tracks such data. That's well above the national average of 12.4 percent. And it suggests Rhode Island's economy is still a long way from turning around.

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